Hephaestus by David W. Landrum

Hephaestus

Forget the forms the poets
have hammered me into,
the shape their molten words
have cast for me,
the soot hexameters,
the pyrrhic twists,
and lies, limp spondees forged,
making me halt,
twisted, setting my lame identity.
The list is long
of goddesses who loved me,
my limbs, my stance,
my body, which the poets
say is disjuncture.
Aglaea, youngest of the Charites,
lay down in my embrace.
Good Repute, Acclaim, Prosperity
were our three children
(Eucleia, Eupheme, Euthenia)—
hardly the offspring of a misshaped troll!
The slender-thighed Cabeiro,
sweet nymph, and ravishing,
chose my love; and Aetna,
the swarthy huntress of strong arms
with black hair covering her shins
and beauty wild and raging as the sea
has loved me ages on.
I am misnamed “game legs”
and “hobbling god.”
The slight limp that I have
from when Zeus threw me out of heaven
(I was readmitted soon)
is much exaggerated.
Yes, I made the net—but more
to rid myself of witless Aphrodite
than to express chagrin.
Ares can have her as far as I’m concerned.
My works are fair,
my limitations none.


David W. Landrum‘s poetry and fiction have appeared in journals in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Europe. His novellas, Strange Brew, ShadowCity, The Last Minstrel, and Le Cafe de la Mort, are available through Amazon.

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